Exhausted But Still In Pursuit
Are you exhausted? At times, we all feel worn out and whittled down. If, at those weary moments we continue to persevere, God promises to show Himself strong on our behalf. The Bible says, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13, NKJV) He will not deny who He has created us to be. He will not deny what He has created us to do. In the Bible, Gideon’s band had been whittled down from 32,000 to 300. Judges 8:4 even says, “They were exhausted but still in pursuit.” (Holman Christian Standard Bible) Sounds like us at times, doesn’t it? We are exhausted but still in pursuit; struggling, but still believing. Why would we continue to carry on when we are at the end of our rope? Because we genuinely believe God has called us to prevail.
The Necessity of Failure
At times we all feel like failures. There was a season in my Christian life when I was so discouraged I had trouble getting out of bed. I came to realize, we must all fail in order to succeed. Joseph thought he could make his dream happen and it came to nothing. Moses attempted to liberate his people and it backfired. Paul, prior to his conversion, wanted to be holy but couldn’t. Peter said he would never deny the Lord but did just that, three times! The most important thing we can learn from failure is that, no matter how bleak it looks, we shouldn’t give up. The only time failure will disqualify us is when we refuse to admit we have fallen short. Thankfully, our God is one who understands that we’re all in process.
I Could Be That Person
One day I was driving down an impoverished inner city street and as I looked at the people I was passing by I thought, I could be that person! I could be that person! When our eyes are opened, we will each see how much we’ve been given. It’s been said, when you’re stuck in traffic, think of all the people who’d love to have a car. When you’re having a hard time with your spouse, think how many don’t know what it’s like to love and be loved in return. When you’re weekend’s over and you go back to work, think of the mother who has to work 12 hours a day, seven days a week, just to feed her children. When I view my life from this perspective, I’ve found that being grateful is the only appropriate response.
A Fresh Glimpse of God
People go wild over the possibility of winning the lottery. But what would you pay to live one more year, one hundred more years, a thousand, or a million? How about living forever? The Bible describes how those who are experiencing eternal life are pretty excited about it. In the Book of Revelation we see twenty-four elders who are continually before God. Over and over again they fall on their faces and worship Him, saying: “We give thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come…” (Revelation 11:16-17) Perhaps the only reason we’d ever think living forever might get boring is because we haven’t seen God. I’ve found, whenever I get a glimpse of the Creator of the Universe, He reveals Himself to me in a brand new way, and that’s never boring.
Aiming At The Wrong Target
He was one shot away from claiming victory in the 2004 Olympics 50-meter three-position rifle event. He didn’t need a bull’s eye to win, all he had to do was hit the target. But, to everyone’s amazement, Matt Emmons fired at the wrong target. His score for a good shot at the wrong target? Zero! Instead of a medal, he ended up in eighth place. In life, it doesn’t matter how accurate you are if you are aiming at the wrong goal. In the end, it’s worthless. The Bible says, “He who has the Son has life. He who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” So, my question is: What target are you aiming at? If it points to Jesus, then it leads to life, and no matter what things look like, the end result will be winning.
Do you feel like a loser? You’re not alone. Most Bible characters felt like losers at one point. Adam had serious problems in his marriage and with his children. Noah preached 120 years but didn’t have one convert. Moses couldn’t speak well and even stuttered. Elijah battled depression and melted under pressure. Jonah refused to obey God. Peter had a bad temper and was even known to curse and behave like a loose cannon. Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca and Jacob had favorite children, which is a curse. But each of them had a destiny in God and fulfilled it. Sure, none of us are perfect. We all blow it. That’s why we each need a perfect Savior; someone who’s not fixated on what we’re not, but helping us become who we are created to be.
Numb From Hurt
Do you feel numb? This illustration will help you realize why. In our physical bodies, when muscles are stiff and un-pliable they gradually become unusable; it may have started when we got hurt. Damaged tissue restricts blood from flowing to muscles, and when there’s no flow of blood, we lack oxygen and our muscles begin to die. Perhaps your life is blocked by a bad habit? Often times, we become so consumed with our pain that we’re unable to focus on anything else. These constricted areas become stagnant ponds, breeding grounds for more pain and cesspools of heartache. It deforms our walk and twists how we stand. Our pain can keep us from getting the rest we so desperately need. What’s the cure? Let the life-giving blood of Jesus flow over your battered life, restoring whatever’s been damaged.
The Secret Life of Mothers
One of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen is not a place; it’s a person. At times she’s visible in public, but most often she remains hidden. I’m referring to the secret life of a mother. Working when no one else sees. Listening when no one else hears. Loving when no one else cares. Present, when no one else is around. Once you catch sight of a mother’s secret life, it’s unforgettable. Once it touches you, you will cherish it forever. Mothers give us a peek into the heart of God: invisible but present, unseen but known, happy to give in secret. Forever looking for opportunities to shower those she loves with kindness and understanding. I thank God for mothers. Is there a better glimpse into the God who is love? I think not!
Do you believe God has a marvelous destiny for you? I’m convinced He does, and it’s better than you could ever imagine. Noah Webster’s definition of “destiny” is really quite perfect: “…a predetermined state; a condition foreordained by the Divine will.” When you look closely, everything about this definition speaks of obedience. Since it takes God to destine, it stands to reason only God can predestine or predetermine, and likewise to foreordain. The only destiny that is real is God’s will, and the only way you get God’s will is by being obedient to Him. The Bible says, “…(God) will do for me all He has planned. He controls my destiny.” (Job 23:14, NLT) The doorway to God’s destiny for your life is trust and obedience. Trust that God will lead you, and obey whatever He says to do. I have found, He never fails.
A man went for a walk and began to talk to God. He asked God if it was true that “1,000 years was like one minute to Him.” God said, “Yes, that’s true.” The man then said, “Then maybe it’s also true that what is a million dollars to us is only a penny to You.” God again replied, “Yes, that’s certainly true.” At this point the man became a little greedy and said, “Well, Lord, how about giving me one of those pennies?” God said, “Absolutely! I can’t give it to you right now, but if you wait a minute I’ll give it to you.” It’s pretty funny, but let me leave you with this thought: God wants to bless us, but are we more attached to our timeframe for receiving His blessing then we are to Him?
How We Look At Life
When a man came home every night from work his wife consistently told him about that day’s calamities. One night when he got home he said to her, “Sweetheart, before you tell me everything that’s gone wrong today, can I at least sit down and enjoy my dinner?” The next day, as soon as he came through the door, his wife said to him, “Honey, hurry up and eat, I have something terrible to tell you.” It’s a funny story, but it also demonstrates how some of us look at life: a disaster waiting to happen, or an opportunity waiting to blossom. The Bible says, “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8, ESV)
Do you think less of someone who acknowledges that they’ve blown it, or more. Does humility diminish us, or elevate us? Paul the Apostle acknowledged what God knew was true. He said, “I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man…” (1 Timothy 1:13a, NIV) He even went so far as to say he was the chief of sinners. (1 Timothy 1:15) But then he mentions God’s response to this confession; but “I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.” (1 Timothy 1:13b, NIV) Paul got it! He understood what he did wrong. Sadly, most of us are in denial. We all tend to minimize our sins. If I think I’m really not that bad, I’m in denial, and I’ve never really seen my life from God’s perspective. We all need a Savior, and thankfully, Jesus is ready and willing to save a repentant heart.